Look Out, Look Up! - safe working near power lines

Look Out, Look Up around power lines

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) is reminding farmers to ‘Look out, Look up!’ to stay safe when working near overhead power lines and poles.

It is sharing practical advice as part of its annual safety campaign, to help farmers and contractors avoid accidents related to power supplies.

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In the past 12 months, SSEN recorded over 850 incidents on agricultural land across its networks, where third-parties came into contact with poles, overhead lines and cables; resulting in local electricity supplies being disrupted and potentially causing serious injury, or worse, to those involved.

SSEN is issuing the following guidance:

• ‘Look out, Look up!’ before you start work in any areas where electricity lines are present.

• Risk assess and be aware of the height of machinery that will be in use near lines and ensure there’s plenty of clearance – remember that electricity can ‘jump’ if an object comes near enough.

• If you do come into contact with an overhead line or cable, stay in your cab or vehicle and try to avoid touching anything metal within it.

• Call 105 immediately – this is the UK-wide single emergency number for power companies and is the quickest way to put you through to the correct network operator.

• If the situation is too dangerous to remain in the cab, for example, in the event of fire,  leap out of the vehicle as high and as far as you can to avoid touching any part of it or the electricity network .

SSEN’s Head of Safety, Health and Environment (Networks) Ian Crawley said: “The ‘Look out, Look up!’ message encourages anyone working in the field to take stock of their surroundings and the overhead lines that may run across, or into, the land. Trees and hedgerows may have grown since the last time you checked and could now obscure nearby lines, intense heat in the summer can cause lines to sag slightly and working with different styles or heights of machinery may bring you closer to the lines than in previous years.

“Risk assess before any work begins – it’s a small step to take that could make all the difference.”

See www.ssen.co.uk/SafetyLeaflets and www.ssen.co.uk/safety/

Last edited on: 08:05:2019

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